Critical Thinking Activities For Children

The nonprofit Foundation for Critical Thinking cultivates core intellectual virtues that lead to fair-minded thinking.

Critical thinking skills don’t fully develop until adolescence, but the foundations for good thinking develop in younger children.

This is not something that can be cultivated through rote memorization or with strategically placed posters. You can recycle this activity throughout the year by adapting the challenge or materials to specific content areas. Save the Egg This activity can get messy and may be suitable for older children who can follow safety guidelines when working with raw eggs.

Students must be engaged and cooperation must be practiced, and often. Simply divide students into teams and give them equal amounts of a certain material, like pipe cleaners, blocks, or even dried spaghetti and marshmallows. The challenge can be variable (think: Which team can build the tallest, structurally-sound castle? Teams must work together to find a way to “save” the egg (Humpty Dumpty for elementary school students?

Yes, there are mounds of curricula they must master in a wide breadth of subjects, but education does not begin and end with a textbook or test.

Other skills must be honed, too, not the least of which is how to get along with their peers and work well with others.

The following team-building games can promote cooperation and communication, help establish a positive classroom environment and — most importantly — provide a fun, much-needed reprieve from routine. ) — in this case an egg dropped from a specific height. Zoom Zoom is a classic classroom cooperative game that never seems to go out of style.

You can purchase a classroom-ready version of team-building games that promote critical thinking here. That could involve finding the perfect soft landing, or creating a device that guides the egg safely to the ground. Simply form students into a circle and give each a unique picture of an object, animal or whatever else suits your fancy.

Parents can make thinking fun throughout the academic year as well as during the summer and on vacations.

Good thinkers practice thinking just like they practice basketball or soccer.

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